Re-ranking the contenders in Best Animated Feature

Lego Movie 1 600x252
Today, for the next installment of my weekly 2015 contender re-rundown, I’m moving on from the big eight categories obviously and now taking a look at one of the in between ones, which happens to be the Best Animated Feature race.

Since there are a whole lot less contenders in this category, I’ll once again be doing things a little bit differently here. In this case, it’ll just be shorter, essentially. Here now are the five particular animated films that I have cracking the unofficial lineup at this later point in the year:

1. The Lego Movie – Still the frontrunner in this category, but not by the wide margin that some might think. I don’t believe the movie has been forgotten about, but it’s not as large a part of the cultural zeitgeist as it was earlier in the year. It’s still a formidable contender though, no doubt about that. With a likely nomination for Best Original Song and potentially another Sound nod coming its way, this is still a mostly safe bet for the win. It’s hardly invincible, but I wouldn’t panic if I were the folks behind this one.

2. Big Hero 6 – If you want to talk about the animated flick that has the attention of the culture right now, it’s this one. It’ll be an interesting case study for the Academy since this resembles a Marvel superhero movie as much as a traditional Disney cartoon. They’ll almost certainly nominate it, but will they turn that nom into a win? I’m not sure, but I think there’s a decently large chance that it can take over the top spot before all is said and done. Keep an eye on this one…

3. How to Train Your Dragon 2 – A definite spoiler, this sequel is going to hang around all season. Having a possible Best Original Score or Best Original Song citation in its back pocket won’t hurt either. It’s also a brand members of the Academy are fond of, so that’s a plus as well. I think it’s less than likely in regards to pulling off the upset win, but it’s not a complete impossibility. If Oscar voters were confused by The Lego Movie and less than blown away by Big Hero 6, they could potentially default to this one by the end of the line.

4. The Boxtrolls – I have a feeling that this might be slightly too weird for Academy members, but that mainly will preclude it from winning, as opposed to preventing it from even being nominated. Like many contenders, this one will have a potential Best Original Song contender to help out its chances, along with having a distinct visual look to it. Still, while a nomination is still looking like a solid possibility, anything more than that might be wishful thinking.

5. Rio 2 – This final slot could have gone to any of the other contenders in my top eight below, but I think Oscar voters could wind up deferring to something they already know. Basically, once more I’m defaulting to something with an Original Song to throw in the mix. With as odd a category as this one, it’s as solid a way of making an educated guess as any. Voters liked the first one, so don’t sleep on this one ultimately cracking the lineup.

Next in line I’d have these ten contenders (just sans my own personal commentary here) for Best Animated Feature:

6. The Tale of Princess Kaguya
7. Song of the Sea
8. The Book of Life
9. The Penguins of Madagascar
10. Rocks in my Pocket
11. Mr. Peabody and Sherman
12. Cheatin’
13. The Pirate Fairy
14. The Nut Job
15. Planes: Fire and Rescue

Stay tuned ladies and gentlemen, as I’ll be back with another new category next week!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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